Yes all character traits like respect and patience, are so important, and are more easily “caught” than “taught”.
What IS it with all these character traits? Why are we trying to instill these things into you and your children?
The primary purpose of martial arts training
The truth is that when you’re also teaching a very effective self-defense system, you MUST be instilling good character at the same time. Why?
What does it mean to you when you read or hear “very effective self-defense system”? What might it take to allow you to walk away from an encounter with a really bad guy intent on doing you or your loved one harm? That’s right, it doesn’t take long before you realize we are teaching how to hurt someone enough to get them to stop their attack on you. Yes, we learn some pretty nasty things to disrupt your opponent and get them to release you.
We don’t want to be teaching these things to just anyone. We need to make sure these techniques will be used strictly for self-defense and for nothing else.
So yes, respect, patience, self-control, self-discipline, generosity, humility, there are all the PRIMARY goals for any martial artist.
Current focus on patience
We have been focusing on patience. This is tied to a number of other traits: self-control, humility, generosity.
It’s almost that patience is a gift we give to others. It helps us to treat others well. But it is also very important for our own life.
Parents, here is a super post about developing patience in your children. I really encourage you to take a look.
Can I be patient with myself?
Here’s the mat chat we began the Patience series with:
We’re starting a new theme this week: PATIENCE
I don’t know about you, but after we’ve been talking about being quick to listen and slow to speak, I became aware of myself doing exactly the opposite.
Awareness is the first step to change. You can’t change something — or, you can’t improve in an area — that you don’t know needs changing!
If you want to improve in any area, whether it’s in karate, or how you treat people, there are three little words that will help:
NOTICE — DECIDE — ACT
NOTICE — This means first you have to see that there is something wrong. Whether that’s an incorrect stance, or someone who is sitting alone and could use a friend!
DECIDE — You have to DECIDE to make the correction, or do the right thing. Many times we might see something that needs to be done, but we just look the other way and think “someone else will do it”.
ACT — Finally, we have to act. Being aware of something that’s wrong, and deciding to do something about it isn’t enough. We need to follow through and actually DO what needs to be done — whether that’s practicing our karate, or going up and saying hi to make a new friend.
What does any of this have to do with patience?
We really do want you to practice this : NOTICE — DECIDE — ACT
But will you forget and have to start again? Will you make some effort that doesn’t end up well? Of course! That’s when you need to have patience! You’re not going to make any big changes right away. The best changes are those that stick and become lifelong habits — and that takes time and patience and the ability to keep trying, over and over again.
When Patience isn’t enough
When we’re struggling to learn something new, or to develop a new habit, we surely need patience with ourselves.
Sometimes life hands us something we really didn’t see coming. Patience may help us to deal with the unexpected or unforeseen. It might even lead to acceptance of our new situation in life.
But how do we move from acceptance to happiness in light of dreams that won’t come true?
Sometimes we just need to set a new dream.
There are times in life when what we dream of just simply has no way of happening. That’s when it’s time to make a new dream, to set a new goal.
NOTICE when your dreams for your life are no longer possible.
DECIDE on what new dream you can set your sights on instead.
ACT on that decision and move towards your new dream. Get started today!